It is well known that the key to reversing a bad night’s sleep is by solving the problem. Like, getting up to read a few chapters of a book, for example. Getting something to to satisfy those late-night cravings. Or simply changing what you are wearing, whether it be you that you are too hot or too cold. For physically disabled people, like me, it’s not that simple.
It’s important for people who are able-bodied to know that after we go to sleep, the caring and our frustrations of what we can’t don’t stop. Just as an able-bodied person who wakes in the middle of the night, it still happens to us too. A disability doesn’t have a time frame. I should state that, this isn’t an issue for all people with physical disabilities. If you have the upper body strength, then all of the activities described can be done. But if you rely on assistance, it’s a matter of either us losing sleep or our caregivers losing sleep. Either way, someone is going to lose sleep. Then there are the after-effects, feel guilty for our caregiver’s tiredness due to broken sleep or feel tired ourselves and risk exacerbating other illnesses which rely on sleep to keep them at bay. It’s a decision of asking ourselves what is the lesser of two evils?
Throughout my life, I’ve become good at learning what I can cope with until morning and what needs attention now. What we need to remember is that it’s more often than not what we THINK caregivers feel instead of what they actually do feel about the situation. They know we only call them because we need help. We just need to remember that too and give ourselves a break. However much we want to change the situation, we can’t. Also, for society to realise that, again, our wheelchair can be the least of our worries.
Footnote: Back to the issue of if I need a drink at night. Don’t you think a bar fridge in my room is a great idea? I do! Because of course I’m only thinking of my parents not having to go all the way to the kitchen and back again… I’m not thinking of myself AT ALL